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“Lotta’ Good That’ll Do.” 15 Reasons to Keep an Open Mind About Counseling

Psychotherapy

You’re wracked with panic attack symptoms and bone-crushing stress. Maybe it’s major depressive disorder. A well-meaning family member chimes-in, “You really need counseling.” You thank her, and as you reach for another Xanax you mumble, “Lotta’ good that’ll do.” So come on, get off the couch!

What a great opportunity to unload what’s on your mind and in your heart – truly be you – in a supportive and non-judgmental environment.

Reality is, seat-of-the-pants counseling/psychotherapy recommendations have become cliché. Talk is cheap. Oh, the intent is likely honorable, but the words flow forth too easily, often without much thought behind them (like “Oh, he’s bipolar…” or “She’s a borderline…”).

And then there are scads of psychiatrists and primary care physicians who under the influence of Big Pharma tell us meds are the answer – “Hallelujah, it’s a murkle!” Finally, the quality of service offered by many counselors is iffy, at best.

Is it any wonder those enduring difficult emotional/mental circumstances choose to thumb their noses at counseling, sticking with the couch and remote?

All that said, I still believe in the power of counseling, and submit pursuing it’s well worth the emotional, mental, physical, and financial investment.

“Well, duh, Bill – you’re a counselor.” True, but I’ve been the recipient in my share of counseling sessions over the years. And I’m testifying to the fact that when counseling doesn’t go well, it often has much to do with client readiness. I mean, let’s not forget about dynamics such as resistance, which we discussed in last week’s piece, Resistance | The Invisible Barrier to Healing (That Begs to Be Seen).

15 Reasons to Keep an Open Mind About Counseling

Hmmm, so how can I convince you it’s well worth it to keep an open mind about counseling? Would you consider the following?

  1. What a great opportunity to unload what’s on your mind and in your heart – truly be you – in a supportive and non-judgmental environment.
  2. Think of the relief you’ll feel when you come to know what you’re experiencing – and you – aren’t at all odd or “freakish.”
  3. Making the counseling commitment sends a powerful internal message that you’re ready for growth and healing.
  4. My money says in fairly short order you’ll realize your situation isn’t as nasty and hopeless as you thought.
  5. Participation in well-documented – and administered – therapies works for millions. Is your brain so unique they can’t work for you?
  6. You’ll learn coping strategies and techniques you can use daily to help you along your journey.
  7. In a safe environment, you’ll be able to try on for size those social dynamics you’ve long-since abandoned.
  8. How good will it feel to be presented with well-deserved positive reinforcement, and hearing nice things being said about you?
  9. You’ll rest assured in knowing someone has your back, no matter the time or where you are.
  10. It’s the perfect environment in which to learn how to trust and be trusted.
  11. Under what better circumstances can you venture out of your emotional, mental, and physical comfort zones, and learn you’ll more than survive?
  12. You can gain insight into who you really are and how to become who you’d like to be.
  13. You can come to understand how special you are, and how deserving you are of healing.
  14. It’s a secure place where you can comfortably share your vulnerabilities and personal challenges, and get supportive feedback.
  15. Seriously, what’s to lose? Deeply consider what you’re calling “life.”

Wellllll, what do you think?

Hey, no doubt, the fulfillment of any of the above requires working with a counselor with whom you have a good fit. Yes, there are some iffy ones out there; however, tons of good ones, as well. And, of course, finding them may take some due diligence on your part. Speaking of which, here’s the first of a series I posted five years ago on finding a counselor. To access ’em all, enter “i need a counselor” in the search box (top right).

And That’s That!

There’s nothing worse than being up to your eyeballs in panic attack symptoms, major depressive disorder, chronic stress, grief, or whatever else may ail you. Okay, meds – guess we have to at least toss them into the equation. But counseling is irreplaceable when it comes to getting you where you want to go.

Next time someone suggests you consider counseling/psychotherapy, hold off on the negative spin pertaining to “Lotta’ good that’ll do.” In fact, it literally may well be true.

So toss the remote, get off the couch, and open your mind!

By the way, if you come up with more reasons to keep an open mind about counseling, please share in a comment. Actually, you can share why you believe one’s mind ought to stay closed.

Need some direction regarding counseling, or emotional/mental health matters? Please review my consultation services.

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  • Counseling has been helpful to me at different points through the years, Bill and I’m highly supportive of anyone looking at counseling as a way to work through their issues. I’ve had great insights through my counseling experience, so thanks for this needed reminder!

    • Hey, Cathy – it’s been a few weeks. Glad you’re back. More than welcome for the reminder. And counseling is an excellent way to work through one’s issues. ‘Course, much of that is enriched by a quality counselor. And the cool thing is, one can always come back to their counseling relationship. I have clients with whom I work for, say, 10 sessions – and we get things back in order and that’s that. Maybe six months go by and they need a tune-up. So they contact me and we get after it again. It works.

      Thanks, Cathy, for your visit and comment. Please come back…

      Bill

  • Patricia Miller

    One of the biggest reasons I’ve found counseling to be of huge value in my life is that my efforts, added to the efforts and support of my therapist become more than double the effect. There is a geometric increase in the work I can accomplish when I’m supported with a caring therapist. Another giant plus for me is that while I may be motivated and know I’m uncomfortable and need help, I don’t know what I don’t know. My knowledgeable counselor can draw from a variety of resources and help me learn the things I need at a pace I can manage. There have also been times when I’ve lost my hope along the way. My counselor has shared his with me and that is a huge resource when your heart hurts.

    • What can I say? Geez, as a therapist, I want to push through the screen and give you a big kiss. What you detailed is exactly how it’s supposed to happen. And, you know, productive work doesn’t have to be all that complicated. It’s a matter of two open hearts and minds working together in an effort to foster relief and healing. I believe the results can be nothing short of amazing.

      Always appreciate your visits and contributions…

      Bill